Sen. Corker, co-author of the Border Security Amendment, just cost American taxpayers about $31.2 billion to buy votes for an immigration bill from a handful of extremist conservative party members who are impossible to satisfy or convince to do the right thing on any issue.
In an attempt to save Republicans' political behinds in the 2014 midterm election, Corker pandered to those House and Senate right-wingers to get Hispanic and Latino votes. In exchange, law enforcement, the military, and defense contractors get carte blanche to erect an estimated 700-mile border fence, increase expensive surveillance technology and add 20,000 government-paid border patrol agents -- this at a time when border crossings are at their lowest and deportation is at its highest.
No doubt we need a better immigration policy -- one that's fair and continues a path to build diversity and democratic freedoms. But giving away more than $30 billion to appease the follies of ultra-right fanatics, who likely will force a watering-down of any immigration bill that will serve no one, is a foolish waste of money and reputation.
Sen. Corker may be a moderate Republican and a favorite son, but I wouldn't pin a "hero" ribbon on him quite yet.
GREG WILLIAMS, Signal Mountain
The ironies of the Edward Snowden affair are bizarre. The first irony is that so many Americans were "surprised" that the NSA was mining communication data. This program has existed even before the Patriot Act and has been discussed in public forums for more than 12 years. One would have had to be asleep for the last decade to be surprised. Bob Corker claims ignorance of this program even though he voted for it and serves on the Foreign Relations Committee where he would have complete access to this information. What's worse, laziness or stupidity?
Secondly, Dick Cheney called Snowden a "traitor." Cheney revealed the identity of a secret CIA agent because he was angry at her husband. His lackey took the blame for this espionage was tried and convicted but was pardoned by George Bush. No wonder Americans have difficulty discriminating between a "traitor" and a "whistleblower," Make no mistake. Snowden is a traitor, and so is Dick Cheney.
American confusion is compounded by lazy media coverage. If Benedict Arnold had been covered by NBC, he would have become a famous "whistleblower" rather the name that has become synonymous with being a traitor.
TERRY STULCE, Ooltewah
A response to the letter "Evolution theory not an educated guess": Evolution is taught in schools around the world. Also taught in schools of their day: "The Earth is flat."
Creationist are welcome to present their case to professional scientific organizations, but many scientific journals will not print a paper that hints of a higher power.
There has never been a recorded instance of non-living matter coming to life. There are instances of building a complete skeleton based on a few bones found miles apart. Of building a skull and calling it a form of early man in order to get published.
The letter's author mentions differing accounts of creation. Genesis 1 speaks of creating the earth and man. Genesis 2 speaks in more detail of how God created man and how some parts of His creation worked (no rain required). If God says something twice, He means to be heard.
I hope Rep. Chuck Fleischmann reads the article in Sunday's [June 23] Times Free Press titled "Toughing It Out." It was very well written and true.
I worked in home health for many years and know it to be true. So, Mr. Fleischmann, tell these people how Obamacare will hurt them.
These people need to be taken care of when they need medical care. They tough it out. So should Chuck, and he should consider the poor people he represents, not just the rich and Republican folks.
On June 23, the Times Free Press printed a rant that said: "What is the difference between the KKK and the tea party -- Robes."
The KKK is a white supremacist group; you must be white to be a member.
The TP opens its doors to anyone -- black, white or brown.
The KKK hates Jews. I am the VP of the Chattanooga tea party and I am Jewish -- as are others.
The KKK (and the person who wrote the rant) is anonymous because they are cowards. Tea partiers are proud to have their name attached to their ideals. The KKK has a history of violence, including murder. The tea party is completely nonviolent.
If being fiscally conservative, believing in the liberty of the individual rather than being a slave to the government, and following the rules of the Constitution somehow make me a racist, then that definition of racist is wrong. There are more black tea party members than people realize. The tea party supported several minority candidates for office including Alan West, Ted Cruz, Herman Cain, Marco Rubio, Mia Love, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and others for the very simple reason that they mirror our values.
In addition to being so dumb that I believe in God's creation, I am thankful I am from the South if that makes me reject the fact I was created as a monkey and lost my tail over time. I will admit, however, it is easy to believe some people could possibly be from monkeys when I read letters like the one on June 24 that defended evolution.
Christian leaders who have as much education as scientists have studied the Bible longer than Darwin studied science and have never found any three or four theories that the creation referred to in Genesis is more than one theory.
When we were growing up, we had the choice of listening to prayer in school, but now, thanks to an atheist, my children and grandchildren do not have that choice.
Thank God we still have the opportunity to attend the church of our choice and teach our children to pray.
ALICE CRANE, LaFayette, Ga.
The June 24 letter in the Chattanooga Times Free Press about evolution is a good example of how many people are conceptually confused about what constitutes creation science.
Hence: Unless one wants to violate every known concept of physics and the scientific quest, one has to admit that evolution has to have a start some place, some time, and that there has to be a scientific explanation for it. Otherwise, one would have to conclude that it began as the result of a miracle, and then choke on one's own chewing gum when the reality of that thought sinks in.
Too many people who think they believe in evolution try to relate everything to Darwin and the Bible. The concept of evolution was around long before Darwin, as was the concept of creation. The scientific clash comes when the modern-day civil liberties folks try to mix the two for the purpose of using the First Amendment to the Constitution to deny people their right to free speech in the classroom.
As to the difference in the two Biblical references to creation, there is no contradiction: The second one is only a continuation of the first in a different context.
THEODORE K. ELBELL, Madisonville, Tenn.
It is my notion that many members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are agents of the same type of stiff resistance seen during the civil rights era.
On the immigration reform bill that went before Congress, many of our law makers behaved like modern-day George Wallaces, promoting fear and hatred. Even though later in life he admitted he was wrong on his harsh segregation stance, Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1963 was a leader against equal rights for blacks.
The voices heard today demonizing the path to citizenship in the immigration bill reform are as off base as those who fought to keep segregation in the early 1960s.